Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Icicle Bright"

Those very words were used to describe the singing of a choir that I heard recently.  I agree completely with that description.  Particularly apt is the image of chill associated with the timbre.  Such a sound has a chilling effect on the listener--how could it not?

By contrast I heard a live broadcast of the Trinity Church Wall St. performance of the Messiah, under the direction of Julian Wachner.  It came closer to sizzling than any reading of that masterwork that I have ever heard.

Fearless pacing supported by inventive rhythms, and by not insisting that every phrase, every motif, every piece resolve.  The lines of All We like Sheep did truly go astray, vanishing into silence.

One of the great fallacies children are taught who learn theory too soon is that phrases resolve.  Wrong.